(a) In general
The Secretary shall establish and carry out a program of research on marine mineral resources.
(b) Program goalThe goal of the program shall be to—
promote research, identification, assessment, and exploration of marine mineral resources in an environmentally responsible manner;
assist in developing domestic technologies required for efficient and environmentally sound development of marine mineral resources;
coordinate and promote the use of technologies developed with Federal assistance, and the use of available Federal assets, for research, identification, assessment, exploration, and development of marine mineral resources; and
encourage academia and industry to conduct basic and applied research, on a joint basis, through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts with the Federal Government.
(c) Responsibilities of SecretaryIn carrying out the program, the Secretary shall—
promote and coordinate partnerships between industry, government, and academia to research, identify, assess, and explore marine mineral resources in an environmentally sound manner;
undertake programs to develop the basic information necessary to the long-term national interest in marine mineral resources (including seabed mapping) and to ensure that data and information are accessible and widely disseminated as needed and appropriate;
identify, and promote cooperation among agency programs that are developing, technologies developed by other Federal programs that may hold promise for facilitating undersea applications related to marine mineral resources, including technologies related to vessels and other platforms, underwater vehicles, survey and mapping systems, remote power sources, data collection and transmission systems, and various seabed research systems; and
foster communication and coordination between Federal and State agencies, universities, and private entities concerning marine mineral research on seabeds of the continental shelf, ocean basins, and arctic and cold water areas.
In carrying out these responsibilities, the Secretary shall ensure the participation of non-Federal users of technologies and data related to marine mineral resources in planning and priority setting.
(Pub. L. 91–631, title II, § 202, as added Pub. L. 104–325, § 2(3), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3995.)